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Jonah 3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

Once again the Lord told Jonah to go to that great city of Nineveh and preach his message of doom.

Jonah obeyed the Lord and went to Nineveh. The city was so big that it took three days just to walk through it. After walking for a day, Jonah warned the people, “Forty days from now, Nineveh will be destroyed!”

They believed God’s message and set a time when they would go without eating to show their sorrow. Then everyone in the city, no matter who they were, dressed in sackcloth.

When the king of Nineveh heard what was happening, he also dressed in sackcloth; he left the royal palace and sat in dust.[a] 7-9 Then he and his officials sent out an order for everyone in the city to obey. It said:

None of you or your animals may eat or drink a thing. Each of you must wear sackcloth, and you must even put sackcloth on your animals.

You must also pray to the Lord God with all your heart and stop being sinful and cruel. Maybe God will change his mind and have mercy on us, so we won’t be destroyed.

10 When God saw that the people had stopped doing evil things, he had pity and did not destroy them as he had planned.

Footnotes:

  1. 3.5,6 dressed in sackcloth. . . sat in dust: Sackcloth was a rough, dark-colored cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. Sometimes people wore sackcloth and sat in dust to show how sorry they were for their sins.

Jonah 3 New International Version (NIV)

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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